Tekken 8 Review

As most of my friends know, I consider myself to be a casual in the fighting game community. I don’t devote all of my time to the genre, however, I do find myself wanting to better my skills after every match I play. Tekken 8 allows me to do just that and more with its beginner-friendly atmosphere, multiple game modes, and new/returning mechanics. Not only that, but it also brings a little something along for its long-term veterans. Tekken 8 is the perfect game when looking to get your feet wet or to get knee-deep in some good old-fashioned fighting games.

Coming from Tekken 7, other than a new story mode, and a couple of other new game modes, it can be confusing at first to figure out what’s new with Tekken 8. The same combat mechanics from the game’s past iterations still apply, however, some new features have been added giving Tekken 8 some spice when it comes to engaging in fights. Recoverable health and the Heat System are here now bringing in new ways to approach battles. Players are now required to plan their fights around enemies gaining their health back when applicable. When your health depletes, you can potentially earn a small portion of hit back by dishing out some hits of your own. With the new Heat System, you can also deal out some major damage to your opponents. Each character has a special heat move so it’s important to know what they do before activating it. Both of these features combined give battles a more strategic approach that is heavily evident when going online against real players.

Given the new fighting mechanics, it’s only natural that you would want to practice your playstyle for certain characters. Some are more ranged while on the other hand, some are more physical. If you’re someone like King then grappling is your best bet to win. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a ‘meta character’. Tekken 8 proves this by offering a wide range of practice opportunities for players to hone their skills. There are multiple ways to do so such as learning combos in the practice mode, completing player sub-stories, arcade mode, or just playing online and learning matchups. One of the newest features is that for every online match you play, players can replay them in the game Replay Mode. This feature allows you to take control of the match to learn from the mistakes you’ve made. The game even gives you tips during the replay to counter enemy attacks. This and many other features are why Tekken 8 is the most beginner-friendly game in the franchise.

There are a wide variety of characters that are on the roster for Tekken 8. While we do see some new faces, some old ones are missing as well. Don’t worry though because out of all 32 fighters, every single one of them plays differently from the last. If you’re trying to figure out which fighter is right for you, just play them all. That’s what I did and I found myself addicted to Lili, Reina, and Azucena. Once you get the hang of them don’t be shy to take them into the character customisation to add a bit of flair to them. After a few quick matches or fighting against the CPU don’t be afraid to play online with other players in Ranked. As previously stated I’m a casual in the fighting game community, but I’ve climbed up the ranked ladder pretty quickly with Lili.

Each character has their own ranked tier but as you progress the ladder with your highest character, there may be a point where every other character will be bumped up a rank level to make everything fair when matchmaking. It’s important to note that while matchmaking may not always be fair, don’t let an opponent’s rank scare you. There have been multiple times where I’ve seen opponents three levels above me and I still came out on top.

Conclusion

Tekken 8 is a game in which I can’t find any glaring flaws in terms of gameplay or online matchmaking. Sure it’s a pain when playing against an opponent at 200 ping, but those are rare for me. With its amazing story mode, graphics, and improved gameplay mechanics, I find myself always coming back for more. No other fighting game has a chokehold on me as Tekken does. Whether you are new or a veteran to the franchise do yourself a favor and enter the ring. You won’t regret it.

This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox Series X/S. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.
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Summary
Tekken 8 polishes up its fighting game mechanics with a few new features creating an amazing experience for veterans and beginners.
Good
  • Very beginner friendly
  • New Heat System/Regeneration mechanics
  • Wide variety of things to do
  • Amazing story mode
Bad
  • No Lucky Chloe :(
10
Incredible
Written by
Even though his name is Varnell Harris, he also goes by Bubba. Bubba has been writing for gaming websites since he was sixteen years old and always had a passion for it. Bubba has attended Miami University and double majored in Journalism and Creative Writing. He also streams on Twitch and uploads YouTube videos whenever he has time. Not only is he into gaming, but he is also heavily into anime and has made it his goal to attend every con possible. His goal is to make it big in the gaming industry.

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